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  • Writer's pictureCody Allred

Hard Water on Shower Doors

If you have glass shower doors and live where you have hard water, you inevitably have dealt with hard water spots. We recently moved into a new home where the shower doors were white from years of hard water build up. We knew it would take some work but had no idea what we were up against.

First, we hired a cleaning service thinking they would have some magic treatment. Nope! $250 only to be told they could not get it off. So then the website searches began. We literally tried everything we read from any site. Here is what we purchased.

We also tried, not pictured, lemon with vinegar and baking soda, strong toilet bowl cleaner and straight muriatic acid. NOT ONE OF THESE WORKED! Some took off a little but nothing would remove the spots. We wanted clear glass!!

And then we tried this...and IT WORKED!!


1. Mix Barkeeper’s Friend powder with a small amount of water making a medium paste. Start with about 1/4 cup of powder.

2. Wet down shower doors.

3. Use 0000 steel wool, get wet and wring out.

4. Scoop a small amount of paste onto steel wool and start scrubbing! Keep the area wet as you’re working. Work in small sections. It takes A LOT of elbow grease and when you think it’s enough, do more! Move in circles, left-right, up-down, and diagonal. We scrubbed for about 5 minutes working in 12x12 sections. To test your progress, wipe the area with a squeegee to see if hard water marks are visible. If they are, get the surface wet again and keep scrubbing. When we felt we got them all, or were really close, we used a power drill with a scrubbing pad (available on Amazon). Make sure the pad is meant to be used in glass. If you use one that is too harsh it will scratch the glass. We also cleaned all the shower trim and guides with the same mixture and technique.

5. Rinse everything really well, squeegee the glass, and wipe dry.

I wish I had taken a before picture. From chest height down these doors were white and everything above had etched in spots. We worked on these doors for almost TWO weeks!

Once we found what worked, it still took work...about 4 hours of work. Having this end result was worth it!

To prevent this kind of labor, always squeegee the water from the glass after showering. Don’t use bar soap. Bar soap builds up faster than liquid body wash. And for heaven’s sake...clean the doors regularly to prevent a lot of build up.

I was ready to just order new shower doors. They were that bad and I was that frustrated after trying so many things and spending a lot of money too. I hope this saves someone else time when tackling hard water clean up.

We also found the same paste cleaned hard water from the shower fixtures, shower walls, sink faucets, sinks and toilets too. Make sure to always test areas first and be gentle on ceramic items to make sure you don’t scratch them.

Happy Cleaning!

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